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George Clooney post-arrest: 'We hope it helps'

The Ides of March, George Clooney

Story by Jack Foley

GEORGE Clooney has spoken to reporters about his commitment to raising awareness of the continued suffering of people in Sudan following his release from custody.

The actor was arrested outside the Sudan Embassy in Washington DC on Friday morning (March 16, 2012) and released after three hours after paying the bail fee.

But upon re-emerging from custody, the actor told reporters that his key concerns remained the same: “Best estimate is tens of thousands of people are going to die from starvation… this isn’t a famine, this is a man-made tragedy by the government of Khartoum to get these people to leave.”

Asked if he thought whether his arrest and its subsequent global attention would do anything to improve things, he said: “You never know if you are accomplishing anything… We hope it helps.”

And when pressed on whether he’d been arrested before, he quipped that it was his first, adding: “Let’s hope it’s my last.”

Clooney’s arrested capped a busy week for the Oscar winning actor, which began with a visit to Sudan and included a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the situation.

Ahead of his arrest at the demonstration really, he said he thought the president was “very engaged” on the issue of Sudan.

But Clooney also called upon the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian aid in to the area immediately and to “stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children”.

He also told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that what was happening in the region was “ominously similar” to the violence in Darfur, having witnessed a rocket attack first-hand after secretly travelling across the border to the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.

According to UN estimates, nearly 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million been displaced since the Darfur conflict broke out in 2003.

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